A lot’s in a name | entertainment | Hindustan Times
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A lot’s in a name

UK Bhangra chart-topper Raja Husan changes his name for singer Raja Hassan. We look at similar stories of celebs getting fried up when taken for someone else.

entertainment Updated: Aug 28, 2009 12:45 IST

After the infamous Toshi Sabri – Tochi Raina ordeal where Raina alleged that Toshi was picking up stage shows on his name, and went into depression as a consequence, the similar-name confusion has struck again. This time, it is the case of two Rajas that’s creating a mix-up.

Raja Husan is a chart-topping Indian singer from Holland, whose single ‘Bhangra Knights versus Husan’, made it to No 7 at UK’s Top of the Pops a few years ago. Two years ago, he came to India to try his luck in Bollywood but soon faced a unique problem. “For some reason, I suddenly started getting calls for stage shows for the reality show singer, Raja Hassan,” he explains. “I told them that I’m not Raja Hassan, but the problem persisted.”

Going extreme
Since there didn’t seem to be a way out, Husan took the extreme step of changing his name to Raja Mushtaq. “Raja Hassan is more popular in India while I am in Europe,” says Mushtaq, who has sung tracks for Salman Khan’s upcoming Wanted and Main Aur Mrs Khanna. “If my tracks would feature my name as Raja Husan on the credit list.. people may think it’s a spelling error and think it’s Raja Hassan who has sung it. So I thought it best to change my name.”

Mushtaq is also Raja’s birth name, while ‘Raja Husan’ was the stage name he adopted after his single became popular. “But whatever I have achieved has been through the name, Raja Husan. But I don’t know if I’ll go back to the name.”

Raja Hassan, who was a runner-up of the talent show

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa

in 2007 and has sung songs for Vishal-Shekhar and Bappi Lahiri, was quite surprised by the news. In fact, the singer hasn’t heard of Raja Mushtaq but was quite taken aback when he learnt that he had changed his name. “It’s his humility to have taken such an extreme step,” Hassan says. “I’d really like to thank him for it since it’s quite a big deal that he’s changed it because of me.”

But some have stuck to their names despite all the confusion

By Collin Rodrigues

So what’s in a name, some may say. Ask the Negar Khans, Sanjay Guptas, Karan Grovers, Farah Khans, Manish Guptas, Sens and the Cyrus’ of the world. Don’t know if they should change their stance and adopt new names. But on second thoughts, it’s okay. It adds to the fun and confusion.. after all, it’s at their cost. We still have the last laugh!

Negar Khan
TV Actress- Is Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao
I have never been confused with anyone. There has always been only one Negar Khan in the film industry. People have told me how much they like my name because of its uniqueness.

Negar Khan
TV Actress- Ek Khiladi EK Hasina
I used to get lots of calls when the other Negar Khan was in India. They’ve stopped after she moved abroad. Once a magazine interviewed both of us. When they published the interview, they put her picture in my interview and wrote her boyfriend’s name as mine. Recently, when she entered Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao, a prominent city tabloid printed my picture and said that I was a part of the show.

Cyrus Brocha
No, I’ve never faced any confusion over my name because I was born before Cyrus Sahukar and am better looking than him. But I do get calls from people mistaking me for Michael Jackson. It doesn’t happen regularly.. if it does, then I may go back to my original name, Susan.

Cyrus Sahukar
Earlier, it used to happen a lot and would be irritating at times. Now it has stopped. I don’t blame people for it, because most of them call me by my first name. I understand where such matters are concerned. I know people don’t do it on purpose.

Manish Gupta
Director- Stoneman Murders
The media and journalists mix up our names all the time. When his movie, Karma and Holi, released, everyone thought it was mine, it released a month after mine. I even sent him an email requesting him to use his middle name to avoid confusion. I was the first one to get criticism for his film. Recently, I got endless emails and calls when he was doing a serial. On facebook too, people want to be my friends thinking it’s him.

Manish Gupta
Director- Karma Aur Holi
The confusion over my name has happened only on a few occasions, since I’m in New York most of the time. It’s funny but they realise their mistake within a few seconds. At a party a group of guys were talking about my film. They were under the impression I was the Stoneman Murders’ guy. I wanted to hear things about myself, which otherwise they wouldn’t have said in front of me.

Sanjay F Gupta
Director- Karam
Originally I used to write my name as Sanjay Gupta. I had to add the F after the endless confusion. People also add me as friend on Facebook mistaking me for the other Gupta, as both of us are directors. Once I was shocked to receive many gifts and greetings on my birthday. Later, I realised that the people who had sent them thought I was Sanjay Gupta.
Sanjay Gupta
Director- Kaante
I used to get a lot of calls. But they have stopped after he changed his name. But I still get anniversary and birthday greetings.

Raima Sen
Actress- Honeymoon Travels
I used to get a lot of such confusing calls when I was new in the industry. But they have stopped now. It was a long time ago, I don’t remember much of it. I’ve never lost my cool either, as I’m a very understanding person.
Riya Sen
Actress-Good Luck
No, I don’t get such calls. My sister Raima gets a lot of such calls because of her rare spelling and name, which can be mispronounced. I always correct them and clear the misunderstanding.
Reema Sen
Actress- Malaamal Weekly
This confusion happens all the time. I know Riya, Raima and Rimmi quite well. Raima is a close friend. If someone calls them up and asks for me, they pass on my number and vice versa. Rimi stays two blocks away from me. We often get each other’s letters and packages and return them. There’s no solution to something that you are born with. It’s just the surnames, can’t help it.

Farah Khan
Director-Om Shanti Om
I not only get calls for her but also invitations and gifts. I send back the invites but keep the gifts if they are good. At times, people want me to design jewellery for them, because she’s a designer. Shah Rukh Khan gets more confused than me. He often calls her; obviously thinking it's me.
Farah Khan
Diamond jewellery designer
I get calls from people who want me to choreograph for their films, even aspiring models and film actors thinking I’m director Farah Khan. Recently, a news channel called me up and put me on air asking me for reactions to my close friend Shah Rukh Khan’s detention in the US. I hung up immediately when I heard the word ‘close.’ I’m his friend but not a close one. A few minutes later, they called back. Again I was live on air. I had to tell them that there was a mix-up. I get bouquets and birthdays cards meant for her even after I’ve officially changed my name to Farah Khan Ali. The funniest moment was when both of us got a MTNL phone disconnection notice and later realised it was for another Farah Khan staying in the same locality.

Karan Grover
TV Actor-Meri Awaaz Ko Mil Gayi Roshni - TV show
It doesn’t happen now, as industry insiders know me. I have recently changed my name to Kayjee to avoid the confusion. Once a filmmaker from Tips wanted to meet me. He told me that his daughter was a great fan of Dr Arman, the name of Karan Singh Grover’s character. I had even sent him my profile, which he didn’t read. I explained it to him just before our scheduled meeting.
Karan Singh Grover
TV Actor-Dil Mil Gaye- TV show
Surprisingly, I haven’t had such experiences.